The Flying Officer 08

…... of the Germans are taking cover. This operation being conducted from an average height of fifty feet, he almost succeeds in blowing the tail off his own machine. At least, that’s what it feels like. But who cares? All four bombs go off with four satisfactory bangs, and when he turns again he sees that he has been more than fortunate in obtaining direct hits all down the hedge. With a final burst from his guns, Brown sails away, hoping that one German, at least, saw him place his thumb to his nose and spread his

               Fingers out.

It occurs to him that he should go home and report. Something of a reaction has set in. But a glance at his clock shows – incredibly – that it is barely a quarter of an hour since he left the aerodrome. Besides, he has quite a bit of ammunition left, which it seems a shame to take home, He decides to follow his road a little further.

Five minutes flying towards Berlin fails to disclose any other target worthy of the name. Truth to tell, Brown is now slightly above himself. There are several parties of men, and a gun or two moving up towards the trenches, but in his present mood he is looking for bigger game. For instance, he feels that the Kaiser and Hindenberg ought both to be seizing this opportunity of visiting the Western Front. What a good time he could give them! Unfortunately for his dreams of glory, they fail to oblige. While pondering over this piece of bad luck, he sees another machine, half in the clouds, away to his right. Maybe this is his Flight Commander who took off with him and who is covering another main road not far away.

Brown swerves off right-handed, making for the other machine which is flying in the same direction as himself. Some inner prompting urges him to make a semi-circle and to approach it from behind, This is just as well, since he suddenly recognises it as a Hun two-seater, an L.V.G. He realises, with a thrill, that now is his chance to put into practice the various points he has been given regarding attacking two-seaters. His great difficulty, as he sees in a flash, will be that they are both flying so low that space for manoeuvre will be limited.

Just exactly as his Flight Commander told him, he flies down to come up under the enemy’s tail, where the Hun observer cannot get his guns to bear. He manages this move to perfection and is just about to press the trigger when the L.V.G. makes a sudden turn and at the same time opens fire on him with its rear gun. An old hand, obviously.

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